As I am sitting down to write this I am on my third day of less than 6 hours of sleep. You see, we are trying to wean from the swaddle (after procrastinating for months…I will be writing up some tips for that soon) which means the baby is adjusting, up more, sometimes three times a night wanting to nurse endlessly. You might be thinking “So what!? Moms with babies don’t get sleep!” But what happens when you must wake up, pull yourself together and have a busy and productive work day? When you rely on your brain to solve problems and everything is a fog? And worse, if you are like me and really, REALLY need 8 hours to feel yourself?
The only cure for overtiredness is sleep, which is both good news and bad news. Until that day comes – here are a few sleep hacks that seem to work for me on those tough days or weeks where sleep just isn’t happening.
Tired Mom Hack #1 – Coffee. Sounds like a no-brainer, but a few modifications to how you consume caffeine can make a different in its effectiveness. I am still nursing so I do try to limit to two cups per day. I mix my coffee with a vanilla protein shake (we get these in bulk at Costco) which has the benefit of starting your day with your blood sugar in check and kind of tastes like a latte (without all the calories). Balanced blood sugar helps prevent the highs and lows of energy throughout the day and supports your brain in avoiding that crash feeling. First cup is right when I am out of bed and then I wait until 11a for the second cup as it can help me get a second wind for the rest of the workday.
Tired Mom Hack #2 – Vitamins. My inner kindergartner loves gummy vitamins. So, I chew my prenatals when I am getting ready (after some protein from the coffee so my blood sugar doesn’t get too out of whack leaving me with a crushing exhaustion). Then, around 10a I take Vitamin B12 (gummies, of course). These are my favorite taste wise and they help your body metabolize food into energy. I believe I get an extra burst of much needed energy and focus from those tasty treats. Last thing, two Vitamin D3 Gummy Vitamins. These don’t taste quite as good but if you work in an office like I do, getting outside can be a challenge and Vitamin D can help improve moodiness, energy and overall well-being.
Tired Mom Hack #3 – Make-up sleep. Okay, this is the more obvious but more challenging hack. I am not a great napper, nor do I have time so typically make up sleep comes in the form of turning down early one night (letting the mess and organization go for a day OR getting help) or trying to get an extra hour both nights on the weekends with help from husband and tricks to keep the toddler in bed (see Tot Clock). Letting go of your routine or a few to-dos (laundry, dished, pre-packed lunches) can make more room in your life for sleep. Even though the work must be done eventually, it will feel much more manageable with renewed energy from a decent night of sleep.
Tell me, fellow working mom royalty – how do you manage on days where you are next level tired?
QC // Julie